We’ve blogged about multilingual legal translation and interpretation services in the context of estate taxes on US citizens living abroad. Under current US law, US citizens enjoy a $5 million exemption from estate and gift taxes – a benefit that many non-citizens with US assets are not entitled to. In fact, the current exemption for non-citizens is set at $60,000.00. In such a case, the determining factor for what is and is not taxed is where the home country is.
According to the law, if the US is not the home country, then the $60,000 lifetime estate and gift tax exemption applies. To determine whether or not the US is in fact the home country, the IRS will examine such factors as:
- Visa status
- Locations and values of other residences (real property)
- Location of family members and close friends
- Where personal property is located – especially valuable items like fine art, currency, cash, stocks, and bank accounts
- The location of business interests
- Voter registration
- Driver’s license
- Intended place of burial
When presenting such evidence, all documentation from a foreign country will need to include translation from a foreign language into English. If it is found that the non-citizen is not domiciled in the US (non-resident alien), then only assets located within the US will be subject to gift and estate taxes.